At our congregational meeting on June 25, 2017, St. John’s celebrated its 71st year as a parish. Fr. Houk reported on the success of the REFLECT campaign, the status of stewardship and finances, and the beginning of a strategic visioning process that would involve the whole congregation as St. John’s moves into the fall.

Beginning this journey of discerning God’s vision for the future of St. John’s, Fr. Houk invited attendees to respond to certain questions about the church’s essence, personality, mission, challenges, and opportunities.

Below, you can see the way parishioners responded to the note card exercise, with the most common themes noted for each question.

Click here to see the Blue Card responses. On side one of the Blue Card, parishioners were asked to answer the question “What makes St. John’s St John’s?” Side two of the Blue Card asked participants to describe the personality of the parish, as if one was setting up St. John’s on a blind date with a friend.

The leading themes that emerged on the “What makes St. John’s St. John’s?” question include

  • worship, liturgy, high church Eucharist
  • the people, community, a loving congregation
  • Scripture, tradition, orthodox Christianity

The leading themes for the “Blind Date” question:

  • friendly, welcoming, caring
  • unfriendly, unwelcoming, reserved

Click here to see the Yellow Card responses. On side one of the Yellow Card, people were asked to describe St. John’s future members. On side two, they were asked to describe East Dallas.

Leading themes describing tomorrows new members:

  • younger folks, millennials, families with children
  • parents and kids from the St. John’ school community

The leading themes describing East Dallas include:

  • quirky, artsy, liberal, progressive
  • outdoors, active, lake oriented
  • multicultural, diverse

Click here to see the Red Card responses. On side one of the Red Card, participants were asked to note the one thing about St. John’s that must change. On side two, they were asked to note one thing about the church that must never change.

Emerging themes on the “Must Change” question include:

  • newer members, improved outreach
  • youth and children focus, Christian Education improved for youth and children

The leading themes for the “Never Change” question:

  • liturgy, Eucharist, beautiful, traditional worship (with some notes that we should expand our contemporary offering without losing the traditional)
  • Christ-centered, orthodox faith, Scripture, Gospel preaching

All of the above is great information as the leadership looks at ways of deepening the conversation as we go into the fall. Look for more information soon about the parish’s next step, and yours, on our Vision Journey .